When it comes to pineapple pizza, there is no middle ground: you either love the sweet and tangy combo of tropical fruit on cheese… or despise it. We’re here to settle the age-old debate on why pineapple belongs on pizza (or doesn’t!).
So who invented pineapple pizza and is therefore responsible for this decades-long debacle? Greek-born Canadian Sotirios “Sam” Panopoulos is credited with the controversial dish, brought to life in his Ontario restaurant in 1962. Inspired by American and Chinese dishes that successfully merged sweet and savory flavors, he was inspired to add canned pineapple to pizza. His customers loved it so he kept it on the menu, thus kicking off the craze.
Although pineapple pizza is often referred to as “Hawaiian pizza” it does not have any roots to the island state. It’s popularity was likely influenced by the mid-century tiki trend of the time.
In all fairness, there’s no reason why pineapple pizza should work. This prickly, distinctive fruit offers a strong flavor that tends to dominate when used in recipes. Pineapple lends itself well to baking and grilling, though most of these combinations do not involve cheese. Pineapple upside down cake? Sure. But a pineapple pie? That’s crossing the line.
Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsey was once quoted as saying, “Pineapple does not go on top of pizza,” a sentiment that many share. No other fruit dares to grace the pizza toppings list, so why should pineapple get a pass? Mixing the acidity of pineapple and tomatoes is too much for some, and opposers complain that the juicy chunks make the crust soggy and disrupt the savory profile of biting into a slice. But does that rule the option out completely? Does pineapple belong on pizza?
Logic aside, there’s something about pineapple pizza that just works. Especially when paired with salty strips of ham, the tart fruit brings something to the table that no other pizza topping can touch. Pineapple is light and refreshing, like biting into sunshine, not to mention that it’s packed with vitamin C and other minerals that help aid in digestion. For those with a sweet tooth, pineapple proves to be the perfect way to satisfy on pizza night.
But the number one reason why pineapple belongs on pizza is because people like it! Pizza is easily one of the most beloved comfort foods there is, meaning everyone should pile it high with whatever toppings they please. If you live in a house divided, Salerno’s will deliver a half-and-half pizza order to keep all toppings to their respective sides and keep everyone happy.
Does pineapple belong on pizza? At Salerno’s, we say the choice is yours! Explore our menu to find the toppings you want on your pie tonight; with locations in Chicago, Oak Park, Lyons, and Bolingbrook, we can deliver pineapple pizza hot and fresh to your door.
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